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Inspired by 'Weekend at Bernie's'? Two Denver men sentenced in corpse case

Denver Police via AP, file

Mark Rubinson, 25, left, and Robert Young, 43, admitted to driving around Denver with their dead friend's corpse and using the dead man's debit card to fund a night at a strip club.

Updated at 7:16 a.m. ET: Two men who admitted to driving around Denver with their dead friend's corpse and using the dead man's debit card to fund a night at a strip club were sentenced on Thursday to probation, prosecutors said.

Robert Young, 43, and Mark Rubinson, 25, both pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of abusing the corpse of Jeffrey Jarrett last August, the Denver District Attorney's Office said in a release.

Young also pleaded guilty to felony identity theft for using Jarrett's credit card.

Neither man was accused of killing Jarrett, who died at 43 from a lethal combination of drugs and alcohol, Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office told Reuters.  

Under the plea agreement, Young was given a two-year deferred sentence and must undergo "mental health evaluation and treatment, substance abuse assessment and treatment, and cognitive behavioral therapy," the release said.

He also must submit to random drug and alcohol testing, perform 50 hours of community service and pay $1,289.56 in restitution, in addition to maintaining full-time employment.

Rubinson was given a one-year suspended sentence and was ordered to the same drug and alcohol monitoring, therapy and work conditions, and perform 200 hours of community service.

Mexican restaurant
Prosecutors said Young and Rubinson found Jarrett unresponsive at the Denver home Young and Jarrett shared, and instead of calling 911 they put the dead man in the back seat of Rubinson’s SUV and went for a ride, local television station KWGN reported.

Police said that the men ate at Viva Burrito restaurant and fueled up Rubinson's SUV at a convenience store all paid for with Jarrett's debit card, KWGN also reported. The men then unloaded Jarrett's body back at his house and visited Shotgun Willie's, a popular Denver-area strip club where they withdrew $400 at an ATM from Jarrett's account, it said.

Only after leaving the club did the men call the police to report Jarrett's death.

As conditions of their probationary sentence, both men must write letters of apology to Jarrett's family.

Prosecutor Kandace Gerdes told the judge that the plea deals "were largely the result of the (Jarrett) family's compassion," the district attorney's office said.

Denver TV station 7News compared to case to the 1989 movie "Weekend At Bernie's."

"The film is about two friends who arrive at their boss' beachfront home for a weekend getaway to find out their boss had been killed as the result of a mob hit," the website explained. "The two men then cart the body around town, hoping to save the weekend of luxury they had planned and hoping they don't raise any suspicions."

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Reuters and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.